- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 22, 2007

SEEN AND HEARD AT GREAT AMERICAN BALL PARK IN CINCINNATI

There are plenty of ways to kill time in the afternoon before batting practice: playing cards, watching TV, doing crossword puzzles.

Yesterday, pitcher Jason Simontacchi and bullpen coach Rick Aponte engaged in an epic game of clubhouse chess. This match lasted nearly two hours (mostly because Simontacchi took forever to make his moves) and ran so late that Aponte had to leave so he could prepare for batting practice.

Injured pitcher Shawn Hill, who had been watching intently for a while, took Aponte’s place and immediately settled matters. He beat a stunned Simontacchi within five moves.

OVERHEARD

“I heard somebody yell in the stands, ‘Let’s hit a triple!’ And then I thought, ‘Oh, yeah.’ I tried to, I guess you could say. I hit one into the gap.”

— Ryan Zimmerman, whose bid for the cycle fell short Monday night when he lined out to right-center in the ninth inning

TONIGHT’S GAME

Nationals RHP Jason Simontacchi (1-2, 5.19) vs. Reds RHP Kyle Lohse (1-5, 4.75), 7:10 p.m., MASN2, AM-1500, FM-107.7.

Mark Zuckerman

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